iCONN News

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

courant.com | Librarians' Favorites List Has A Twist This Year

How excited am I about Carole Goldberg's story - Librarians Favorites List Has a Twist This Year? Can you guess? I'm thrilled - more so because the words "iCONN - the Connecticut Digital Library" appeared before the jump line - were still on D1 - while page D8 completed the section on iCONN describing it as a "statewide online rsource that includes research databases, ebooks and an online catalog used by public school and academic libraries"! I'm so grateful to the Connecticut Library Consortium, whose most excellent Deb Zulick is coordinating the project on their end and whose Christine Sarrazin put together a great press release on the holiday recommendations booklist!

In fact, I think it was the intersection of Christine's press release and the perfect timing of my noticing a Susan Campbell column - the one about turning Connecticut librarians into action figures/heroes for standing up to the FBI - and sending her a thank you for her advocacy of CT librarians, along with a quick description of Love Your Library and a voucher, that brought Carole Goldberg's story together so nicely. Susan Campbell had mentioned that she was going to send the Love Your Library event on to Carole, because it sounded exciting to her! I think it hit Carole right after Christine's press release got there. Somehow, between those factors & my omnipresence in the office, even late in the day Wed. and right after Thanksgiving on Friday, that got us the coverage. I helped Carole verify some facts before the weekend hit.

The fact that I didn't get straightened out for the article - of all things - was one that I was quoted on - which said that the purchases on LYL days had to exceed $10,000 per store for the 25% donation to take place. The reality is kinder to us - we only need to get $10,000 total among all stores on those days to hit the 25% donation level. I've asked the Courant - via their online form - for a a correction on the story.

More disconcertingly to B&N corporate was that a statement about the vouchers suggested more active B&N involvement than there will be in distributing those vouchers. It read "Also, Barnes & Noble Booksellers will have vouchers on hand for shoppers." While technically correct, the truth is that B&N did not want to highlight this. Instead, they are only offering the vouchers to shoppers who come up to them and specifically ask for them, saying that they've misplaced or forgotten theirs.

Overall, however, I have to say that I think B&N will be happy, we'll be happy, and the authors involved will be happy. I'm hoping that we really do have that elusive creature - the win-win-win - in our grasp!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Love Your Library days countdown

Only 3 days until the pre-event kickoff with Anne Margaret Lewis' Has Anyone Seen Christmas? and 4 days until the main event. I'm pretty proud of the evolution of our website to accommodate the entire Love Your Library project. More importantly, I can't tell you how grateful I feel to the many librarians and Barnes & Noble managers who are working outrageously hard to make this thing a success! I think that it will be - I certainly hope that it will. If so, perhaps we can repeat and exceed the experience in 2006!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Posters for LYL

Love Your Library posters went out - we had budget only to produce 1 11x17 for each public library. We couldn't do library branches, school library media centers, or academic libraries, though I feel torn if someone calls me - I want to help them to help us promote the event, but the costs actually come off the top of the funds raised, thus, the greater the costs, the lower the net. It's a tough balancing act. If all goes well, next year we may find this easier to deal with. Anyhow, the posters are available in PDF format on the Love Your Library website, so libraries can print them out or have a copy shop print them up.

Connecticut Library Consortium's Holiday Gift-giving booklists

Connecticut Library Consortium Holiday Gift-giving Booklists.. in case you haven't already checked them out, there are 4, with recommendations for children of different age groups.

Dr. Siegel Speaking at a Love Your Library Event

Has it really been 9 days since I last posted? It's hard to describe what we've been busily, crazily, trying to get done here that's taken up so much time. I've completed the Schools' Toolkit CD, now I have to find out how to reproduce them en masse, something that should be possible through the Dept. of Education, I believe. I just noticed, however, that the draft of the Information Literacy Framework document that's on the CD is NOW outdated - there is a Nov. version and I only have the July version on the CD. Now, do I redo the CD again? This is the difficulty with CDs. They're great for using as a portable information source, but that information just gets outdated so easily. In much of the CD, I point users to online resources, as those are more likely to be up-to-date. A CD is just a snapshot in time.

Anyhow, some exciting news (with perhaps more exciting news to come, pending talks between B&N and a certain publisher)... Dr. Bernie Siegel will be at the North Haven B&N for Love Your Library days:
Date: Saturday, December 3 from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM at Barnes & Noble in North Haven

Event: Meet Dr. Bernie Siegel

Dr. Bernie Siegel, legendary author, physician, and alternative healing
pioneer, will be present for a special holiday signing of his many books
including his latest, "101 Exercises for the Soul: A Divine Workout Plan for Body, Mind, and Spirit".

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Love Your Library Voucher in CT PTA Bulletin

In this month's PTA Newsletter (page 4), you'll find the Love Your Library voucher! Also, note the LYL program on the WebJunction CT website ... in fact, if you haven't checked out the CT WebJunction site, you should take some time to poke around - there's great resources there for Connecticut's librarians!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

FBI requiring libraries, universities to offer "back door" to internet surveillance of patrons & students

On the intellectual freedom front, we aren't hearing as much uproar on this issue - but it is at least as problematic as the surveillance of our patrons' reading records... see "U. Penn: Universities required to update networks to assist FBI surveillance." The America's Intelligence Wire (Oct 26, 2005): InfoTrac OneFile Document: "http://find.galegroup.com/itx/infomark.do?&type=retrieve&tabID=T003&prodId=ITOF&docId=A138045678&source=gale&srcprod=ITOF&userGroupName=20231&version=1.0".

I recall internet alarmists sending out warnings back in the mid-90s about the government trying to establish back doors to the internet in order to keep closer tabs on what information users were seeking. To follow this and other stories, check out iCONN - try out ProQuest's alert services if you'd like the latest such stories pushed to you automatically.

Washington Post article, 11/6 - The FBI's Secret Scrutiny; In Hunt for Terrorists, Bureau Examines Records of Ordinary Americans

Sunday's Washington Post article - The FBI's Secret Scrutiny; In Hunt for Terrorists, Bureau Examines Records of Ordinary Americans is a fascinating look at just one of many issues related to patrons' privacy in our libraries. And of course, it involves our own Connecticut libraries, so it really hits close to home. Read it and pass it on - it's on iCONN!

Monday, November 07, 2005

CEMA Home Page

Live from the CEMA Conference in Cromwell - it's iCONN! We're at the former Radisson, now Crowne Plaza, in Cromwell today, visiting with school library media specialists. Steve will be speaking about reQuest, (since Gail is out on maternity leave - a little early) and Jane about the iCONN databases. There are also several sessions that cover some of the Gale resources that are part of iCONN - such as a session on the History Resource Centers and one on their Ebook collection. I'm trying to get SLMS' to fill out my survey on their use of informational resources. We'll see how many will be filled out by the end of the day. I'll be excited to see the results - what is the level of iCONN awareness & use among the SLMS'? That's all for now from Cromwell!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ask A Librarian - 10/01/2000

Check out these "Ask a Librarian" graphics - free at Library Media & PR's website. This website also offers holiday-appropriate bookmarks & graphics.

Love Your Library showing up on websites throughout the state... must be getting closer to the holidays

LION now has the Love Your Library project linked from their homepage. I'm also getting exciting reports in from libraries about how they're using LYL to create partnerships with neighboring libraries. This may be one unanticipated but wonderful side benefit from the project. Congratulations to Enfield, Farmington, and Manchester for facilitating such partnerships. And a huge thank you to the other libraries who are taking their time to get involved. We've shipped out the LYL vouchers via C-CAR. We're getting the posters finalized this week.

In other iCONN outreach-related news, Steve Cauffman brilliantly redesigned our 10 Big Ideas for Educators brochure. It looks great and is completely updated. It will be available at our booth at CEMA next week. Bill Sullivan, our project Administrator - not to be outdone - has created enlargements of the updated "Attention - Free to All Connecticut Residents" flyer, which lists all resources currently available through iCONN. He's made these into posters and has them being mailed out in the coming week, so libraries can hang them up wherever they think it will be helpful to patrons. The October (fall quarter) iCONN Times is also now available online.

A lot of the recent work on flyers, posters, and brochures has been facilitated by our new, high-capacity, full-color, ImageRunner copier/printer/scanner - I guess you might say, "document center". It's got more features than we'll probably ever figure out how to use. But since it arrived a few weeks ago, we've been doing our best to try it out!